Functional skills offer a shorter way to meet entry requirements for many courses. They are a great way to gain the basic skills that you need to succeed in vocational learning. But what actually are functional skills? Let’s have a deeper look into this topic.
What Are Functional Skills?
Functional skills are the basic Maths, English and ICT skills that are often required in the workplace. There are courses that cover the fundamentals of these subjects, enabling learners to apply their newfound knowledge to practical situations.
Functional skills can be completed as a standalone course or an introduction before GCSEs. You may not realise, but Levels 1 and 2 in Functional skills are actually alternatives to GCSEs. They are nationally recognised qualifications. The Level 2 is equivalent to a C-A* grade (or 4-9 under the new grading system), and the Level 1 is equivalent to a D-F grade (or 1-3 with the new grading system).
Benefits of Functional Skills
One of the great advantages of choosing Functional skills over GCSEs is that there is less study time. This is always beneficial for those who have busy lifestyles and other commitments. Due to this fact, Functional skills courses can be completed much quicker; distance learning is often the best method of teaching these. Just like with our Assessor training courses, learners are able to study at their own pace. This flexible approach to learning means that pass rates are often higher as the information is more readily retained.
Unlimited tutor support is often provided with distance learning courses too, just like here at Brooks and Kirk. This means that learners have access to the help and resources they need to complete the course, but can still study around their commitments.
Assessment of Functional Skills
When it comes to grading, it is quite simple with Functional skills. Learners either receive a ‘pass’ or a ‘fail’ for their final exam (there is no coursework or portfolio at all). Just like with GCSEs, there are several main awarding bodies; NCFE, AQA and OCR. The course is regulated by Ofqual to ensure standardisation and consistency when calculating grades.
So there you have it, a brief insight into the world of Functional skills. If you would like any further information about the route of becoming an Assessor then please give us a call on 01205 805155.